Sunday, Nov 19th, 2:15-4:45 PM | Canoe Landing CRC, Kitchen A (3rd fl) | 45 Fort York Blvd
Rahaf Alakbani is a talented Syrian cook and musician who, along with her partner Esmaeel Aboufakher, were instrumental in helping launch Newcomer Kitchen at The Depanneur in 2016. For several years she helped lead the kitchen as a group of over 80 diverse Syrian women produced thousands of meals as part of the internationally acclaimed project. In that time she also led several workshops sharing her love of traditional Syrian food, culture and music, and I am delighted to collaborate with her to offer a few of these to the Dep community in 2023. These workshops will take place in the new state-of-the-art teaching kitchen located in the Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre at 45 Fort York Blvd, just West of Spadina.
This fun, hands-on workshop explores several traditional Syrian dips, typical of the spread of “mezze” appetizers that make up the start of many Middle Eastern meals. Combining the convenience of readily available supermarket products with traditional Syrian ingredients like pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper, nigella seeds, za’atar and biber salçası, Rahaf will show you how to create authentic Syrian flavours quickly and easily in your own kitchen. These flavourful and healthy, plant-forward recipes can be assembled quickly and are sure to wow any crowd.
The class will be infused with Syrian culture, history and music as Rahaf shares these old family recipes along with stories and songs. Participants will get to indulge in all the delicious dips prepared in class, along with printed recipes and any leftovers to take home.
Hummus Shmander حمص شمندر
A luscious, traditional beet-based meze dip popular in Syria, especially in Aleppo. Beets, chickpeas and tahini, seasoned with garlic, and finished with pomegranate molasses, lemon, za’atar and walnuts make for a striking, colourful twist on hummus.
A rich and creamy eggplant dip found in countless local variations throughout the Mediterranean. Smoky eggplants, nutty tahini, tangy yogurt, garlic and lemon combine in this traditional Syrian recipe, garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds and parsley.
A vibrant, complex and slightly spicy dip of roasted red peppers and walnuts, enlivened with sesame and nigella seeds, biber salçası (Turkish red pepper paste), Aleppo pepper, and pomegranate molasses.
Rahaf Al Akabani hails from Sweida in southwestern Syria. She arrived in Canada in 2016 with her husband Esmaeel Aboufakher, and together they were instrumental in helping co-found Newcomer Kitchen, Nai Syrian Children’s Choir and Haneen Women’s Choir as part of their ongoing work to support their community. Rahaf continues to nurture her twin loves of Syrian cooking and culture in workshops, choirs and concerts across the GTA, sharing songs and recipes passed down from her mother and grandmother. Rahaf and Esmaeel have recently completed their Masters in Arts and Humanities at York while raising their two young children.